Anthony Mackie gave an interview where he discussed that he doesn’t think Sam and Bucky are a romantic couple on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and he came across as fairly annoyed and possibly disgusted with fans believing his character is in a gay relationship. And so, very quickly, people jumped on Twitter suggesting that his comments were homophobic, of course his character was in a romantic relationship, and also, that Anthony Mackie should be cancelled. The actor’s name was trending on Twitter, so many fans hopped into the topic expecting more Captain America 4 news, only to be shocked and confused. So what was the star saying? Should he be cancelled? And what’s going on?
Part of the problem came in when Variety tweeted just a single quote from their interview, taken out of context. This tweet seems to be part of what ignited the anger.
Here’s a picture showing a larger excerpt from the interview with Variety where Anthony Mackie is specifically talking about homosexuality, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and fans wanting his character to be in a romantic relationship. This shows a wider context for that quote.
While there is language here that people could possibly pinpoint to address why his response felt homophobic to them, it’s likely mostly the tone is an issue. Fans ship Anthony Mackie’s character with Stan Sebastian’s. It feels personally offensive to them that he doesn’t want this to happen. However, what Anthony Mackie is really trying to address in this interview is the fact that he sees his character as being in a platonic friendship. And because audiences are pushing his character toward something else, he doesn’t feel like there is enough room to show platonic male friendships where characters are sensitive and have emotions.
While he made a point of stating that homosexual relationships can be beautiful, this didn’t seem to be enough to satisfy concerns that he was homophobic. Meanwhile, once Anthony Mackie’s name began trending on Twitter, it didn’t take long for his fans to come to defend him, furious about attempts to cancel him.
Some people felt that the blame landed squarely on the interviewer and the way questions were phrased to Anthony Mackie.
Other Anthony Mackie fans were calling out the hypocrisy of cancelling Anthony Mackie because they felt there were bigger fish to fry, namely Chris Pratt and Mackie’s co-star, Sebastian Stan.
Marvel stars Chris Pratt and Sebastian Stan both have long histories wherein their names have come up before the cancel culture courtroom. Chris Pratt comes up because of his history of being homophobic. Sebastian Stan has been accused of racism. This has come about in several incidents, some of them including his girlfriend’s behavior, which he has failed to publicly address. Neither of these Marvel stars have ever done an interview directly addressing the acccusations or cancel culture, so it’s unlikely that Anthony Mackie will, either.
It’s interesting, though, that Mackie has come under fire when he’s openly in interviews regularly saying very progressive things, so you would think he was on the side of the very people trying to cancel him. On top of that, the timing is interesting, as Mackie is currently rising as a star for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is set up to be the star of Captain America 4. While it’s likely nothing will come of his name trending, it will be interesting to see if that becomes a trend in itself.